Slawomir Elsner, "Collecting Images"

Over the years, the work of this Polish artist, who calls Berlin home, has evolved from photos of himself impersonating a German cop or a Turkish barista, to tightly rendered oils and colored pencil drawings based on loaded images (scenes of war or natural disaster, for instance). The glue holding these disparate gestures together has been the notion that aesthetic conventions inform every aspect of contemporary life, to the extent that they've practically supplanted reality itself. As something of a remedy, perhaps, the drawings here are based on pornography from the 1970s; but having labored on them for who knows how long, Elsner has torn out the central portions of each, leaving only the remnants on display.


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